Meet Diane Pike
"I see my art as a painterly expression of life’s visual memories with the purpose of engaging the viewer in such a way that they can complete my impressions with whatever resonates from within. It may not be the same to everyone. It may present itself in a different way each time they see it—which as an artist, is the ultimate ending."
In order to understand my approach to painting, a little background noise is needed. It began in Colorado in the spring of 2002 when I took my first painting class—Pastels, Color and Light taught by Chuck Ceraso at the Denver Art Museum. Ceraso had studied with Henry Hensche, a student of Charles Hawthorne.
Hawthorne’s discovery that the eyes see large forms of light and dark before they register detail led him to base his color theory entirely on looking for and expressing large forms of light and shadow through “spots of color next to spots of color”. It was a new way of seeing light and shadow by color differences, not tonal differences. Hensche expanded Hawthorne’s approach to color seeing and taught his students to see nature as it truly is first—to see the truth of the color.
I was hooked! I studied The Art of Color Seeing with Ceraso for four years, spending all of my time painting outdoors—en plein aire. In 2006 I began painting in oils and spent a year and a half studying with Kevin Weckbach of the Art Students League of Denver. I also studied with Ken Valastro and Quang Ho. By now the passion to paint was in full gear and I added studio painting to further develop my plein air studies. Painting plein aire is the best way to learn how to see color—the subject is right in front of you. All you have to do is turn off the voice in your head that tells you skies are always blue and trees are green and learn to start trusting your eyes. Anyone who loves color and who loves to paint will come to know this color theory as one of the greatest tools that an artist can possess.
Charles Hawthorne put it this way, “Everything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision. It is the seeing of the thing that makes it so.”
My subject matter became anything and everything affected by color and light and shadow, from trucks abandoned in the landscape, to urban scenes with man’s impact, to “pure” landscapes. A move from Boulder to North Carolina in December of 2008 added a myriad of new views to paint—the Low Country and the ocean complete with the gorgeous marshes. Heaven!
I see my art as a painterly expression of life’s visual memories with the purpose of engaging the viewer in such a way that they can complete my impressions with whatever resonates from within. It may not be the same to everyone. It may present itself in a different way each time they see it—which as an artist, is the ultimate ending.
My outlets for creativity go beyond the canvas. I am a believer in repurposing treasures found—other’s debris—into art. These all find a place in the woods surrounding my home. I venture into this aspect of my artful life when I need a visual break from the easel. It reignites my creative energy. And when I walk through the paths I have created, the art makes my heart smile. Living the Artful Life is good for the soul.
Diane's work can be seen at Ciel Gallery, Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 - 6:00.
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